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10,000 Fee Reductions not much to Cheer about!

02 August 2004

10,000 Fee Reductions not much to Cheer about!

University of Otago students are dismayed at the Government’s attempt to portray the Fee Maxima funding system as a success, given that only 10,000 students will receive a guaranteed reduction in fee levels this year.

“10,000 students may pay less in 2005, but if last year’s fee setting is anything to go by, many more will be facing fee increases under this limp policy”. said Otago University Students’ Association President Andrew Cushen.

For the majority of New Zealand’s tertiary students, the Fee Maxima system has lead to increases in course costs of hundreds of dollars – a stark contrast to the fee freeze enacted previously. Students at the University of Otago have been worst affected by this policy change, as the Government allowed Otago to increase fees by 10% in some areas.

“Every election year, Labour pledges to make Tertiary Education fairer for New Zealand’s students. But there is nothing fair about the Fee Maxima policy. Today we have seen the Government trumpet success due to 10,000 students being better off, while ignoring that ten times this number faced fee increases this year. That would seem a rather hollow victory to me…” said Cushen.

The Fee Maxima system will continue to detrimentally affect New Zealand students until the Government provides fair funding for Universities in order to keep student fees down.

“If Labour is so happy that 10,000 students are better off, then why not increase funding to the sector to provide that benefit to the rest? This is all just empty rhetoric, given that Labour has starved Universities of funds, then allowed them to dip even further into student’s pockets due to Fee Maxima.”

ENDS

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